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PhD student: Gemma Harris


"My research looks at how the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85 impacted the women involved, particularly those from the South Wales Valleys.  For me, this is an academic and personal project being the daughter of a miner who went through the strike.  Also, I feel that that women’s stories should be told as for some, the strike was completely life changing.  This is a new topic for me but coincides with my studies of protest movements.   

"I completed my undergraduate history degree at USW specialising in the Anti-War Protests of Vietnam before going onto Cardiff University for my Post Graduate Diploma.  The intention was always to come back to USW to complete my education with a PhD with a view to hopefully working for the University in some form, i.e., researcher or lecturer.   

"Currently, we are all working remotely due to the restrictions, but I have weekly and monthly meetings with my supervisors, even if it’s just to have a chat to catch up to see how I am feeling or coping.  I feel completely supported by my supervisors who understand how difficult things are at the moment.  

"At the moment I am at the interview and archives stage of my research and making steady progress with a view to transferring to full PhD in July.  

"Studying at USW was my first choice since going back into education as a mature student.  I have always  felt like I was fully supported with my studies and even when I had a bout of ill health and was unable to attend campus for most of my third year I was still fully supported remotely, eventually graduating with my 2:1.

"To anyone thinking of studying History at USW, I would highly recommend that you do so.  The lecturers are wonderful and fully available to support and encourage you, and our librarian José Lopez Bianco is a font of knowledge who is always willing to help.  I have never once regretted it."

Gemma-Harris, PhD student History

Gemma is being supervised by Dr Rachel Lock-Lewis and Dr Christopher Hill